The new United Artists led by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner is in talks to acquire "Youth Without Youth," Francis Ford Coppola's first film since 1997's "Rainmaker." Move would reunite Coppola with Cruise, whom he cast as an unknown in his 1983 pic "The Outsiders." UA had no comment.
Financed independently with foreign pre-sales from Pathe Intl. and funds from Coppola's own winery, the $5 million film, which Coppola shot last winter in Romania, stars Tim Roth as a 70-year-old who is struck by lightning and suddenly gets younger and more brilliant. His quest: to understand the origin of language and consciousness. By movie's end, he and the love of his life (Alexandra Maria Lara) are literally speaking in tongues. Bruno Ganz also stars, and Matt Damon makes a cameo appearance.
"Youth Without Youth" is both "intellectually challenging and emotionally remote," said one acquisitions exec at a studio subsid. Another distrib likened the film to an arty "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
ELLE: What guides you in choosing a project—say, a feminist picture like Mona Lisa or a tiny role in a big movie like The Bourne Identity?
JULIA STILES: Mona Lisa Smile just felt personal to me. As for the first Bourne movie, I liked [director] Doug Liman's work and Matt Damon's, and I'd read the book. I was supposed to die, but if they were going to do a sequel, they wanted somebody as a witness to what happened in the first. With the third I really lucked out.
Sightings... Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower - in a cast - with Matt Damon checking out Lawrence Wright's solo show, "My Trip to Al-Qaeda," at the Culture Project in SoHo.